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Chi. Cubs (8-10) «0010010305100
Milwaukee (8-9)000000010171

Lilly stellar in DL return, Zambrano debuts in 'pen as Cubs win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Carlos Zambrano's return to the bullpen was OK. Ted Lilly's return from offseason shoulder surgery was even better.

Lilly threw six shutout innings in his season debut, Zambrano made his first appearance out of the bullpen in almost eight years and the Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 on Saturday.

"What an effort -- six shutout innings, three hits. I tell you, the guy can pitch," Chicago manager Lou Piniella said. "And we brought in Zambrano. He got the job done."

Lilly (1-0) struck out four and walked two after being activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game. He was out while recovering from left shoulder surgery in November.

Zambrano, who declined to talk to the media after the game, gave up a run in 1 1/3 innings and had a sacrifice fly in Chicago's three-run eighth.

Doug Davis (0-2) pitched 6 1/3 strong innings for Milwaukee, which has scored two runs in two games since a 20-0 victory at Pittsburgh on Thursday.

To make room for Lilly and bolster a leaky bullpen, Zambrano switched to a relief role this week after starting the season 1-2 with a 7.45 ERA in four starts. He was 100-58 as a full-time starter from 2003-09.

"We're a lot better now with him out there," Cubs slugger Aramis Ramirez said.

Zambrano came on to protect a 2-0 lead with two outs and runners on first and third in the seventh, replacing John Grabow. He entered to a standing ovation from the large number of Cubs fans in attendance - and boos from the Brewers fans.

Zambrano threw two fastballs to Rickie Weeks, retiring him on a check-swing grounder to the mound and getting high-fives from his teammates as he returned to the dugout.

The Cubs added to their lead in the eighth, loading the bases with one out. Geovany Soto singled in a run to bring up Zambrano, a career .233 hitter with 20 home runs. He drove in Alfonso Soriano with a drive to the warning track in right. Ryan Theriot added an RBI single.

Zambrano then gave up a run when Corey Hart singled in Ryan Braun with two outs in the eighth. But he got Alcides Escobar to ground weakly to second to end the threat.

"We had some opportunities in the seventh and the eighth," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "Zambrano was able to shut us down."

Piniella noticed.

"He got loose easily out there, and as the inning progressed he threw the ball better and better," Piniella said. "Our bullpen was really too young, and then we had the injury to [Angel] Guzman and then the injury to [Esmailin] Caridad on top of that. We had to shore it up, and we felt that Carlos was the guy to do it. And I am convinced that he will be."

Milwaukee did not get anyone past second base against Lilly, who is looking to regain his All-Star form of 2009, when he went 12-9 with a 3.10 ERA.

"I had a couple erratic moments, but for the most part I was mixing it well," Lilly said. "I get excited with an opportunity like this. I tried not to show it too much, those emotions, but I was much more excited and anxious and maybe a little too geeked up."

Davis gave up two runs and six hits. The free-agent pickup was a disaster in his first three outings with the Brewers, giving up 15 earned runs and 24 hits in 12 innings (11.25 ERA).

Macha said Davis' outing was a "big boost" to the team.

"It's nice to know that I can get somebody out the second time around," Davis said. "I was able to command the fastball a little bit better, which helped my cutter, which helped my curveball as well. Who would've known?"

Marlon Byrd, who finished with three hits, had an RBI single in the third for the Cubs, and Ramirez had one in the sixth to snap an 0-for-21 skid.

Ramirez credited Lilly for his role in the victory.

"Lilly threw the ball well," Ramirez said. "He surprised me, first outing of the year, six shutout innings against a really good hitting team."

Notes

  • After the game, Zambrano got dressed and then walked away from the reporters waiting by his locker, saying, "You guys saw the game." He then returned to the locker room and declined to speak again.
  • To make room for Lilly, Chicago optioned struggling RHP Jeff Samardzija to Triple-A Iowa. The reliever was 0-1 with an 18.90 ERA in four appearances.
  • In his two minor league rehab outings before Saturday's start, Lilly went 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA, with 13 strikeouts and two walks in 11 innings.
  • Byrd has 12 of his 14 RBI this season with two outs.
  • Brewers RHP Dave Bush, Sunday's starter, is 2-8 with a 5.01 ERA in his career against the Cubs.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Ted Lilly yields three hits through six shutout innings in his first action since shoulder surgery last November.
 
Ted Lilly yields three hits through six shutout innings in his first action since shoulder surgery last November. (AP)
 

Players of the Game
Chicago

T. Lilly
IP 6.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 2
K 4
Chicago

M. Byrd
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Chicago Cubs
Ryan Theriot, SS4021101 .288
Marlon Byrd, CF5131013 .338
Derrek Lee, 1B4000114 .230
Xavier Nady, RF3000014 .222
    Kosuke Fukudome, RF2000000 .298
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4111100 .134
Alfonso Soriano, LF4110000 .304
    Tyler Colvin, LF0000000 .276
Jeff Baker, 2B3210102 .216
Geovany Soto, C4021011 .351
Ted Lilly, P3000032 .000
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Zambrano, P0001000 .000
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
Totals36510547  
Batting
2B - Marlon Byrd (7, Davis), Jeff Baker (1, Davis)
SF - Carlos Zambrano (1)
RBI - Ryan Theriot (7), Marlon Byrd (14), Aramis Ramirez (9), Geovany Soto (4), Carlos Zambrano (1)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Theriot (4), Marlon Byrd (12), Aramis Ramirez (5)
Team LOB - 9
Chicago Cubs
Ted Lilly (W,1-0) 6300240 0.00
John Grabow (H,3) 0.2100100 8.10
Carlos Zambrano (H,1) 1.1211110 7.40
Sean Marshall 0.1100010 3.72
Carlos Marmol 0.2000020 0.93
Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 78-50, John Grabow 22-16, Carlos Zambrano 26-14, Sean Marshall 6-4, Carlos Marmol 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 7-7, John Grabow 2-0, Carlos Zambrano 3-0
Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 23, John Grabow 4, Carlos Zambrano 7, Sean Marshall 2, Carlos Marmol 2
Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B4000113 .324
Carlos Gomez, CF3010102 .265
   a- Jim Edmonds, PH1000011 .306
Ryan Braun, LF4110002 .382
Prince Fielder, 1B3000131 .242
Casey McGehee, 3B4010012 .338
Corey Hart, RF4021011 .275
Alcides Escobar, SS4010003 .276
George Kottaras, C3000112 .200
Doug Davis, P1000000 .000
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
   b- Craig Counsell, PH1000001 .273
    Chris Narveson, P0000000 .000
   c- Jody Gerut, PH1010000 .250
Totals3317148  
a-struck out for Gomez in the 9th
b-hit into fielder's choice for Coffey in the 7th
c-hit a bunt single for Narveson in the 9th
Batting
2B - Casey McGehee (7, Lilly)
SH - Doug Davis (1)
RBI - Corey Hart (9)
2-OUT RBI - Corey Hart (3)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Davis-Weeks-Fielder
E - Casey McGehee (2, Misplayed grounder)
Milwaukee Brewers
Doug Davis (L,0-2) 6.1622260 8.35
Todd Coffey 0.2100000 4.15
Chris Narveson 2333210 7.20
Pitches-Strikes - Doug Davis 108-66, Todd Coffey 11-6, Chris Narveson 50-27
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Davis 7-6, Chris Narveson 2-3
Batters Faced - Doug Davis 27, Todd Coffey 3, Chris Narveson 11
Game Information
Attendance - 43410
Game Time - 3:09
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - John Hirschbeck, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - Wally Bell, Third Base - Laz Diaz